The Little Jet Company make bespoke large scale replica UAV aircraft for those that are inspired by a love of aviation. Each aircraft is individually crafted to meet the clients’ requirements and all the parts are designed and assembled in the UK.
The US NAVY YF2Y-1 Sea Dart: designed by Convair in 1948 was the world’s first and last supersonic water-based interceptor, it was the only seaplane to fly beyond the speed of sound.
The Little Jet Company was approached by a client to commission the design and build of the Convair Sea Dart on a smaller scale that would have the ability to be controlled remotely. Fighteraces produced the replica model from a pack of 1950’s drawings of the original design. The dimensions from the drawings were scaled down by a quarter, which became the ‘Master’ in which the entire external panel work tooling was produced from.
PES Scanning came into the process using a high fidelity optical scanner to capture the surface geometry of the Master Model. The engineers at PES Performance began the process of taking the facetted data retrieved by PES Scanning and surfaced this so that the body could be shelled to the desired thickness to match the laminate layup of the scale aircraft’s outer panel work.
The engineers at PES Performance used original photos and drawings to then ensure the airframe geometry, surface data and structural detail were correctly designed as per the original aircraft. The engineers had to ensure that the internal framework was structurally sound and operated in accordance with the original design brief from the client.
The engineers had to consider the choice of materials used, as the salinity in the seawater can negatively affect different types of materials. Saltwater corrodes metal five times faster than fresh water does and the salty, humid ocean air causes metal to corrode 10 times faster than air with normal humidity.
Once the entire CAD model was complete, detailed drawings of all the machined and fabricated components were then produced. This enabled the manufacturing partners to produce all the necessary components that were required to complete the entire build of the Sea Dart. Components have been manufactured from aerospace grade Carbon Fibre, Aluminium, Stainless Steels and Titanium. All composite components are made using pre-pregnated carbon or glass fibres.
Currently, the Little Jet Company are in the process of assembling and testing the unit and the Sea Dart is due for its maiden flight later in the year.